Step 6 - Building Relationships
A person’s ability to navigate crisis can be greatly improved with stable relationships. More than just sharing your home environment, your friendship creates the needed space for one who is struggling in a crisis.
Meaningful conversations are a staple for building stable relationships. For many who are struggling with a crisis, having strong social connections that they can rely on enables them to navigate their crisis situation. As a host, you will definitely find moments of conversations with your guest during their term of stay. These moments can allow you to understand your guest better, and provide a social-emotional respite for your guests. How does one approach a conversation with someone that is currently experiencing a crisis? Where do you begin and are there things to avoid saying?
Think about how you would usually talk to a new person. What are some common traits would you notice in every conversation? These pointers on the infographics invites you to consider how you can communicate better. It helps if you take your time as you get to know your guest, starting with easy topics such as how was your day? Or even, sharing about your favourite meal/hobby. Conversations can also feel more organic if there are activities that you could do together. From talking a walk, doing a project like cooking together etc.
These questions help us to think through how we can go about laying the foundation to build supportive relationships with our guests. Bear in mind that the beginning blocks like trust and communication take time to build. Focus on getting to know each other first can helps
Have you been a guest or complete stranger to a new community (e.g. new workplace, community group, guest in someone’s house, new school)? How did it feel like?
How would you feel if you were a guest coming into stay in a stranger’s household? What would be your fears/concerns?
What are some practical steps you could take to help your guest feel comfortable around you/your household?
Relationships are also about balancing the need for privacy and communication. Talking with your guest about your respective needs helps. What are some of your/your household’s privacy needs, and how can you respect the privacy needs of your guest’s?